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Tue, Jun 28



Teaching Observations with Professor Matt O'Leary

Using observation to develop university teachers and to improve the quality of teaching and learning: a research-informed approach

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Teaching Observations with Professor Matt O'Leary
Teaching Observations with Professor Matt O'Leary

Time & Location

Jun 28, 2022, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1


About the event


  • Identify the key principles of the most effective ways to use observation to develop your teaching
  • Develop an awareness of the latest research-informed models of observation and reflect on how you can use them to improve your and others’ practice


  • Reflecting on the role of observation in teaching and learning
  • Reconceptualising observation as a tool of educational inquiry
  • Key principles for using observation to improve teaching and learning
  • Exploring situated case studies of developmental models of      observation in practice
  • Preparing academic staff for observation
  • Implementing a collegial and collaborative observation policy


Excellence in teaching is high on the political agenda in Higher Education in England at present. The introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework in the country heralded an era of unprecedented scrutiny and focus on the quality of teaching. With governments seeking to link the quality of teaching to funding, UK universities are now increasingly required to demonstrate how they monitor the quality of teaching and what measures they are taking to improve it.

This webinar draws on the experience of staff involved in an innovative approach to observing learning and teaching in an English university. In reconceptualising and reconfiguring the use of observation, by removing it from an assessment context and by making teacher learning and development the key drivers, we argue that our novel approach has opened up new opportunities for the use of observation as a catalyst for developing collegial understanding of what constitutes excellence in learning and teaching and how best to achieve it.

From designing a conceptually challenging training programme for observers to evaluating the experiences of staff involved in this innovative project, the webinar will proffer insights into the work we have done to date to achieve a genuinely transformative teaching observation process that impacts positively upon practice and commands respect from managers and observees alike. This session not only points to innovative ways of doing but innovative ways of thinking that will transform the way in which participants conceptualise observation in a higher educational context.


Participants will engage in a range of individual reflective tasks as well as group discussion. The individual reflective tasks will be managed via the chat bar function of MS Teams as well as live contributions managed via the ‘hands up’ function in Teams. With sufficient participants, breakout rooms will be used for smaller discussions.

A document will be provided prior to the the event in preparation for the enagegment opportunities and participation.


  • Guests

    This ticket is for anyone who would like to join the event and is not yet an EAIR member.

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  • Student Guests

    This ticket is for students who would like to join the event and are not yet members of the EAIR.

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  • Members Only

    This ticket is for existing members (paid up for 2022/2023) and those who have purchased non-member tickets for the EAIR 2022 Forum: Malta

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